There is a built-in contradiction in North American education that particularly affects students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): the tendency to teach everyone as if their brains all worked the same way, when the reality is that they do not. The social crisis of the growing number of children whose educational needs the present school system simply does not meet is translated into a medical problem. Even worse is when the ADHD child is reduced to a problem of discipline and behavior control. (Taylor, 1990)
The goal is to teach children to take responsibility for their own learning in a positive way. In attempting to do so, the teachers have no easy task. With hyperactive children, teachers face almost ceaseless disruption of the classroom order. They are up against the ADHD child’s difficulties, low self-esteem, and social anxieties. They may also be up against their own lack of preparedness.
In our schools today there is too much imposed structure and discipline, not enough freedom for individuality and self-expression. The lesson plans are based on what the teacher has been told to teach, not necessarily on who the students are and what, at any stage of their lives, they need to learn. Some teaching methods do not take into account the emotional and cognitive realities of the student. Many children are left out of the loop: the ADHD child is almost guaranteed to be.
For most students with ADHD, the regular classroom is very busy and distracting because of all the posters, different colors, all the other students, and just the way the class is set up. Children with ADHD learn best when they don’t have any distractions. That is why teachers must make some exceptions to the rules when they have a child with ADHD or any learning disability children in their classroom. When teachers and other staff in a school do not take the time to help these kids adapt in their classrooms, they are setting the children up...